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A blunt, analytical look at the Minnesota Twins.

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Why José Berríos is NOT the Twins' Game 1 Playoff Starter

With the Tampa Bay Rays set to make the 2019 MLB Playoffs and turn the 115-year-old approach to playoff rotations on its head, it’s well past time for questioning the effectiveness of the traditional approach to postseason pitching. But it’s the Minnesota Twins and José Berríos who present the most interesting postseason pitching situation.   This was originally published at FoulPlaybyPlay.com.   The Tried and Not-so-true Approach I get it. Put your best pitcher out there in Game 1 of a playoff

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Jonathan Schoop Makes the Twins a lot Better Against the AL Central

The Minnesota Twins’ acquisition of second baseman Jonathan Schoop has been considered by most as a low-risk, high-reward move by general manager Thad Levine and president Derek Falvey. It is that, but going ignored is the immediate impact the move has on the Twins’ chances in the American League (AL) Central Division.   The AL Central was really bad in 2018. Three teams posted winning percentages below .400, which was one more than the rest of Major League Baseball (MLB). Cleveland, the eventua

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

They Aren’t Making Ballplayers Like Joe Mauer Anymore

Baseball quite literally is not making ballplayers like Joe Mauer anymore. In fact, he’s potentially the last of a bygone era, during which striking out was still frowned upon by coaches and downright despised by some players.   Joe Mauer hates striking out — so much so he struck out just once in high school. Even as Major League Baseball evolved into a game with more pitchers throwing harder and nastier pitches than ever before, Mauer refused to change his approach and was good enough to not on

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Bert Blyleven's 23-inch-wide strike zone is ruining baseball

The one sport that stands to benefit most from advances in technology is America’s Pastime. My colleague Ben Beecken shares that sentiment and understands baseball’s big problem and how to solve it. But as a semi-traditionalist baseball fan, I’m not ready to take the umpires off the field in favor of robots.   This was originally published at Grandstand Central.   Something must be done, obviously, and Major League Baseball owners are apparently pushing Commissioner Rob Manfred to make “bold” ch

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Twins should call up Nick Gordon, yesterday

Ehire Adrianza has no business playing shortstop everyday, and Gregorio Petit has no business on an MLB roster. Ryan LaMarre should be nothing more than a fourth outfielder and pinch runner. And it’s way past time for the Minnesota Twins to call up Nick Gordon.   This was originally published at FoulPlaybyPlay.com.   The Ehire Adrianza Problem On Wednesday night in Minneapolis, Ehire Adrianza started at shortstop because Logan Morrison’s back was still a bit stiff, moving Miguel Sano to first ba

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Twins are better off without Yu Darvish

The Minnesota Twins reportedly offered Yu Darvish $100 million over four years to be the ace of their starting pitching staff. Instead, president of baseball operations Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine invested almost the same amount of money in three players who make them better than Darvish could have.   This was originally published at FoulPlaybyPlay.com.   Darvish signed with the Cubs for five years and $126 million guaranteed and for good reason. He’s projected to be worth 2.8 W

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

What Buxton's Long-term Deal Might Look Like

With his last three swings in Toronto on Sunday, Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton likely erased any doubts of his ability to hit Major League pitching — the final step in securing his place amongst the stars of Major League Baseball. New Twins’ president Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine have little reason to worry about signing Buxton to a long-term deal as early as this offseason, and that’s not an overreaction to Sunday’s three swings.   This was originally published at

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Brad Hand is perfect fit for Twins

I’ve mentioned Brad Hand as a trade target for the Minnesota Twins in two previous blogs, and now that we know the Twins’ surprising performance has Thad Levine targeting trades for long-term assets prior to the July 31 trade deadline, it seems Brad Hand is the Twins’ perfect trade target. Here are the reasons:   This was originally published at FoulPlaybyPlay.com, a community of foul-mouthed, sports broadcasters providing uncensored, commercial-free play-by-play and color commentary during sele

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Nothing's gonna stop us now

The Minnesota Twins started a catcher in left field on Saturday in Cleveland and walked out of the ballpark with a win and a chance to sweep the Indians. That catcher, Chris Gimenez, would later move to first base defensively and hit a mammoth home run in the ninth inning to pad the Twins' one-run lead by one more.   This was originally published at FoulPlaybyPlay.com, a community for foul-mouthed, sports broadcasters providing commercial-free, uncensored play-by-play and color commentary during

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

When Twins become sellers, Escobar likely first to be traded

Fans will get to see if the Minnesota Twins truly can hang over their next nine games. Starting Thursday, the Twins will see starting pitchers Jose Quintana (8.7 K/9, 2.47 K/B), Trevor Bauer (7 IP, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K in last start against Twins), Corey Kluber (11 K/9, 4.71 K/BB), Josh Tomlin (9.33 K/BB), Chris Sale (12.2 K/9), Drew Pomeranz (10.4 K/9), Rick Porcello (4.72 K/BB), David Price (BOS 3-1 in his four June starts) and Jason Vargas (200 ERA+). All those games are on the road.   This was or

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Berrios can learn from Santana's bad starts

In a prior blog post I called Jose Berrios the ace of the Minnesota Twins pitching staff. Not because I think six starts proves anything, and not because I don't believe in Ervin Santana. I do. Santana gets by on pitching prowess like Greg Maddux. But Berrios can flat out miss bats, regardless of who's swinging them, and that's what makes an ace. We'll get a good indication of Berrios's development on Thursday at noon against a hot Mariners lineup that roughed up Ervin Santana, Wednesday.   This

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

The Twins look to their savior, Ervin, again

The Minnesota Twins are running out of options when it comes to pitching, but the consummate professional Ervin Santana is back on the mound to right the ship once again. It's even dollar dog night on Wednesday against the Seattle Mariners at 7 p.m. CST, and F@*k Dick and Bert will be at Target Field and better than ever. We've got new gear that will allow us to be more mobile with the broadcast and include more fans. Ervin was his usual, fantastic self in his last start, tossing a complete game

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Why Ervin Santana's complete games are so important to Twins

Ervin Santana tossed his third complete game shutout of the season Friday night. That's one more than the rest of the league combined despite it coming against a San Francisco Giants team with the lowest team OPS in baseball (.651). But the "Maddux" Santana pitched Friday night in San Francisco is so important given the recent stress on the Twins bullpen and the struggles it has experienced all year.   This was originally published at FoulPlaybyPlay.com, a community for foul-mouthed, sports broa

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Twins set to save money, sign more, valuable draft picks

For a lot of people (just under 95 percent according to an MLB Trade Rumors poll), the Minnesota Twins' selection of California shortstop Royce Lewis with the first pick in the 2017 MLB Draft was a surprise. It shouldn't have been. Most knew there was no consensus number one pick in this draft. There were five potential number ones. The Twins took one of the five.   This was originally published at FoulPlaybyPlay.com, a community for foul-mouthed, sports broadcasters providing uncensored, commer

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Twins need hard-to-get pitching

This was originally published at FoulPlaybyPlay.com, @FoulPlaybyPlay on Twitter.   Last week I urged the Minnesota Twins front office to acquire pitching — any pitching — and not to wait too long in doing so. Well, here are five pitchers the Twins could target if they want to remain competitive this season, but most of them will cost something you might not like to lose. Pat Neshek Neshek is familiar to Twins fans, and his side-armed delivery should play well out of a Twins bullpen that can’t mi

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Gibson looks to preserve his job against Cobb, Rays

Join F@*k Dick and Bert from Target Field on Sunday at 1 p.m. CST as Kyle Gibson looks to preserve his job against Alex Cobb and the Tampa Bay Rays. Every start in the bigs seems like it could be Gibson’s last, but he was bailed out by the Twins’ bats in his last start after allowing six runs in Baltimore.   Gibson’s Issues While Gibson’s strikeout numbers this season are right around what we’ve come to expect (6 SO/9), his walks, hits and home runs allowed are way up (4.9 BB/9, 2 HR/9, 13.2 H/9

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

The Twins might not suck

After seeing the Minnesota Twins hold off USA Baseball 3-2 on Wednesday, a dangerous thought for any Minnesota sports fan crept into my head: these guys might not suck. The Twins are projected to improve more than any other team, but given last season, that’s not saying much. Many of the 14 more games the Twins are expected to win are due to an expected improvement in defensive runs saved. The addition of Jason Castro has a lot to do with it. He came through in an RBI situation in the second inn

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

The 2016 World Series Champion Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins can win the World Series next year. They have the lineup, mostly. They just need a bat and more production from the catcher position. The pitching is on the way in the form of Jose Berrios, Tyler Duffey, and Trevor May, and they have the defense. They need a left-handed reliever, a bat, and more production from the catcher position, and hope that Byron Buxton becomes the player we all expect him to be.   This blog was originally published at Go Gonzo Journal.   Offseason Move

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Fixing the Minnesota Twins’ Bullpen

After the bullpen blew two leads in New York in as many days on the way to being swept by the Yankees, the Minnesota Twins’ playoff chances have taken a massive hit. Now with closer Glen Perkins leaving the team to have an MRI on his neck, it looks as though Terry Ryan sitting on his hands at the MLB Trade Deadline and using kid gloves with Byron Buxton, who is raking in Rochester and was Pioneer League Player of the Week, will be the difference between the Twins playing in October and fishing i

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Mike Pelfrey is Finally Paying Off

Mike Pelfrey has a lot of making up to do in order to earn the $18.66 million the Minnesota Twins have paid him these last three years, but he's finally starting to pay off. Pelfrey made roughly $150,000 per inning the last two seasons, but this season he's All-Star trade bait.   This blog was originally published at Go Gonzo Journal.   Pelfrey has made a solid case to make the American League All-Star pitching rotation. He's 5-2 with a 2.28 ERA, 1.224 WHIP, 178 ERA+, and 2.6 WAR. He's fourth in

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Minnesota Twins Extend Affordable Ace Phil Hughes

Terry Ryan and the Minnesota Twins extended Phil Hughes through 2019, effectively making his contract a five-year, $58 million deal. He will earn $9.2 million in 2015 and 2016 before earning $13.2MM annually from 2017 to 2019. Considering his 2014 numbers, the $11.6 million per year average salary is more than reasonable.   This blog was originally published at Go Gonzo Journal.   If you consider the Twins’ recent signing of Ervin Santana, the extension looks even better. Ryan cut a check to San

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Ervin Santana Newest Member of Twins’ Crowded, Mediocre Rotation

Terry Ryan and the Minnesota Twins made their one move of the Winter Meetings, reaching an agreement with Ervin Santana on a four-year, $55 million deal that features a vesting option that goes into effect if Santana tosses 200 innings in 2018, which would make the deal worth $68 million. It’s the biggest free agent deal in Twins’ history, which says a lot. It’s a smidge bigger than what Ryan gave Ricky Nolasco this time last year, which says even more. Terry Ryan doesn't dip his toe into the fr

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Minnesota Twins are Worse with Torii Hunter

Minnesota Twins’ GM Terry Ryan is putting his neck out, again, signing Torii Hunter to a $10.5 million, one-year deal. Frankly, this Twins reunion **** is getting old – literally. Hunter will be 39 years old next year, is the worst defensive right fielder in the game, and will be severely overpaid. He should be making low-end DH money, yet he’s being paid ten times more than any outfielder the Twins have, despite being worse than any outfielder the Twins have (I think Arcia will hit much better

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

Paul Molitor: Spanish-speaking Players Expected to Learn English

I have just two problems with answers new Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor gave in response to fan questions in a recent interview. First, he said he'd like his nickname to be spelled ‘Mollie,” citing that it looks more masculine, but I suggested his nickname be Paulie, as in a guy named Paul from St. Paul and the big sign in center field featuring a guy from St. Paul named Paulie. It’s common sense people.   This blog was originally published at Go Gonzo Journal.   My other issue is with hi

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

New Face, Old Gard(y): Twins Choose Tradition over Talent, Again

Terry Ryan kept with company policy and made the long-expected and unsurprising decision to offer Paul Molitor a contract to become the new manager of the Minnesota Twins. Molitor, a St. Paul native, has been expected to take over as Ron Gardenhire’s replacement for at least a year, if not longer depending on the rumors you choose to believe, and could have taken over for Tom Kelly in 2002 had he not removed himself from the running due to the contraction fiasco. So Terry Ryan and the Twins got

GoGonzoJournal

GoGonzoJournal

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