The Twins have completed a sweep of the KC Royals and increased their lead in the AL Central to two games. Just to show they are impartial, the Royals play Cleveland next and send out the worst starting pitcher in MLB (Jordan Lyles) to face the Guardians tonight. The Twins have an off day today and face the Baltimore Orioles for the second weekend in a row, this time at Target Field.
The Orioles are a team on the rise. After being the only bad team for years in the AL East, they have become
Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis are two Twins players that have a lot in common. Both guys were high draft choices who reached top prospect status. Both guys have missed most of the last two seasons with injuries and started this season on the Injured List due to serious injuries suffered last year. Both returned to the team this year and prompted speculation that their arrival might propel the Twins this year.
While there is a lot to like, I think neither of these guys is playing like an i
The Twins' offense this spring has been frustrating and disappointing to this point in the season. Any team with the worst team batting average in MLB wouldn't be satisfied with their hitting, add in an inordinate number of strikeouts and puzzling underperformance from high-priced talent and it figures that players could be booed at home. As compared to when the 2022 season ended, this club is healthy, especially on the position player side. Max Kepler will be out for ten days, Royce Lewis will
The Twins concluded the first month of the 2023 regular season with a 17-12 record. They stand 3.5 games ahead of Cleveland in the mediocre AL Central Division. What was projected to be a tough April schedule ended up being very manageable. The Twins played seven games against the New York Yankees, winning four, at an ideal time, with the Yankee pitching staff and lineup hamstrung by injuries. They also played the World Champion Astros, winning two of three, while the Astros were in an early sea
The top line is that the Twins are 9-4 and lead the AL Central by two games. They've outscored their opponents 58-34, the second-best run differential in the American League. 34 runs allowed is second-best in MLB while the 58 runs scored is 17th of 30 teams. Team batting stats are so-so at best--23rd in team BA and OPS, 17th in runs scored, 15 (T) in homers, 20th in walks and seventh (worst) in strikeouts. The pitching stats make up for the poor offense and then some: second in ERA, second in le
There haven't been any exhibition games played yet, but all teams are in Spring Training and there aren't a bunch of free agents left to be signed. The Twins hope to bounce back from consecutive injury-scarred disappointing seasons and make the postseason. Here is my prediction for the 26-man roster that will play Opening Day in Kansas City on March 30th:
Starting pitchers (5): Pablo Lopez, Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Tyler Mahle, Kenta Maeda. All five acquired by trade from other organizations.
The Twins will soon officially have a shortstop vacancy. Carlos Correa has informed the media (and I presume the Twins) that he will opt-out of the second year of his contract. One possibility, Jermaine Palacios, has been DFAed and claimed by the Detroit Tigers. The Twins have shown no tendency to use in-house options Jorge Polanco, Nick Gordon or Gio Urshela as a regular shortstop. Brooks Lee hasn't been with the organization a year out of college and looked pretty rough on defense in the minor
Some time after the All-Star break, I was pondering how the Twins could fit all of their quality major league position players on the active roster. A few weeks later, baseball immortals Mark Contreras and Caleb Hamilton were on the big club. Fast forward to a crucial five-game series in Cleveland and the Twins were starting Bailey Ober, Josh Winder (both coming off injuries) and having Louie Varland make his second major league start and Jake Cave and Gilberto Celestino were considered regular
Manfredball will be in full swing in 2023. No more shifts, a pitch clock and bigger bases. The Twins will need to adjust to the changes and they will probably have to adjust more than most. The larger bases will make infield hits and stolen bases more common. The Twins will need to find a way to get more speed in their lineup and to be better base runners. They have been dreadful running the bases and have yielded oodles of stolen bases and that is not all on their catchers. At the very least, a
I just fed my obsession by playing golf for about the fifteenth day out of sixteen. Well, it wasn't pretty and I left the course pretty frustrated. Before I got home, I had a chance to read the latest on Twins Daily and Major League Trade Rumors. The Twins will face the high-flying Yankees with three red-hot pitchers going for the Evil Empire. The Twins will counter with Cole Sands, Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy. I don't think I've ever seen such a lopsided matchup in favor of the visiting team w
The Twins finished the month of May with an 18-12 record. Given the schedule they faced in that month, 18 wins isn't exactly dominating. They closed with a 4-5 record in their last nine games playing bottom-dwellers in those last games.
Here are the stats for May per ESPN. https://www.espn.com/mlb/team/stats/_/name/min/split/41/table/batting/sort/OPS/dir/desc and https://www.espn.com/mlb/team/stats/_/type/pitching/name/min/split/41
Just a few highlights. Luis Arraez, Trevor La
Twins fans can take a breath and be very satisfied with where the squad is in the standings and how well they have played in the last 10 games. A 9-1 record in the last 10 games tends to relieve our anxieties. However, I think it is human nature to find something to worry about. Befitting the Twins 13-9 (good, not great) record, there are things to worry about--Miguel Sano's poor start, unsustainable success from youngsters and reclamation projects in the starting rotation and, of course, injuri
As I occasionally do, I checked MLB statistics today. I wanted to see how the team stacked up to the rest of Major League Baseball. Most teams have played about 10 games, so we have an idea of trends, although some things are out of whack. Baltimore has good pitching? Cleveland has the top team BA in the American League? Nah, those things won't last. What about the Twins? Well, with a 4-6 record and and -6 run differential, I figured the Twins would profile poorly on offense and middle of the ro
As of this moment there are 30 rostered players and 1 non-rostered player in camp for the Twins. Of the rostered players, Jovani Martin has been told he would be optioned to St. Paul and Cory Stashak will stay in Florida and go on the Injured List. That includes 16 pitchers and 13 position players. The non-roster player is Kyle Garlick, who got a year's service time last year as a backup outfielder who was later injured and never returned to the major league active roster. I assume that the Twin
After the lockout, big trades and a huge free agent signing (who knew Joe Smith would be available?), the Twins are zeroing in on Opening Day 2022. They will carry 28 players for the month of April, allowing additional ramping up for pitchers. I don't claim to all-knowing, but I have listened to and watched Twins baseball since Calvin moved the team to Met Stadium. The roster I'm predicting will include 15 pitchers, about as many as the Twins used in some full seasons in the 60s. Okay, here goes
The Minnesota Twins are completing one of their most disappointing seasons in their history in one week. While they will only win around 70 games, they have major league talent under team control at every position except one--shortstop. Andrelton Simmons was acquired on a one-year deal and has shown himself to be a competent (not all-world) defender and has had a putrid offensive season. The consensus at this site is that he should not and will not return in 2022. By all measures, the 2021 Simmo
The Twins play their 30th game this afternoon and are currently 11-18. They've been beset by bad luck, bad play and have taken a beating with two rule changes (extra-inning runner on second, 7-inning games for doubleheaders). How do they get out of this funk? I'm sure many in the organization will preach patience and they may be right, but that isn't any fun. Here are some possibilities for change that might help the team: Role change. We've already seen one role change. At least temporarily A
Nelson Cruz has been everything the Twins could have expected for 2019 and 2020. He's stayed relatively healthy, hit both with power and for average, he's been available to play except for two ten-day stays on the Injured List and he has been a team leader and mentor for all players on his team. Cruz has been far and away the best hitter both last year and this year. Despite all of his contributions, I am not sure my favorite team should bring back Nelson Cruz for the 2021 season. There is a t
MLB and the MLBPA agreed yesterday to accommodations for a shortened 2020 major league schedule. Many things are to be determined, especially since there is no firm date for the season to begin. I choose to be optimistic that there will be baseball this summer, perhaps without crowds in the stands. One thing agreed to unofficially was an expanded roster. The number that has been published is 29. I am going with that information and will now name the 29 players I expect will be on the roster for
I write this blog entry when I was expecting to do other things. I am in Fort Myers in 80 degree weather with just a hint of a breeze on a nice Thursday afternoon. What could be wrong? Well, actually, plenty. My significant other and I made plans for the rest of winter sometime in January. Because we had made an extended trip of the Christmas/New Year holidays and because we were planning a family gathering for the summer, we decided to stay in Minnesota for the rest of January and I decided I
I have been a Twins fan since I was six years old, when they moved to the Twin Cities from Washington. After nearly sixty years, I doubt that that will ever be a fan of another baseball team or lose interest in "my team". In the course of the 59 years that the Twins have been the Twins, I have always had a favorite player or two every year. Sometimes that guy is a star, often he's not the star of the team. My favorites have included some obscure guys like Gary Wayne, Geoff Zahn, and Ron Washingt
Two 30-year-old natives of Venezuela, both switch-hitters, both came to the majors as shortstops who became utility players and were to become free agents at the end of the 2018 season. I was looking at Baseball Reference and thought I would compare the former Twin with the current Twin. I was surprised how similar their numbers were. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/e/escobed01.shtml https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/gonzama01.shtml While they are very similar, there are
With the announcement that Nelson Cruz suffered a wrist injury yesterday, my immediate thought was who would replace him in the lineup and on the roster if he had to go on the injured list. It would appear to me that the answer is the much-discussed Miguel Sanó, who is on his third and last stop in his rehab program. Much has been written about Sanó. I wish to confine this discussion to the ballplayer between the lines. The other stuff has been beaten to death IMHO. What will the Twins get whe
Here we are on May 9th and the Twins have the best record in Major League Baseball. They have had some low moments, but mostly everything has gone as well as, or better than, expected. Chatter about the Twins has been positive, especially after dominating a bad Baltimore team and then winning a series (and the season series) against the Houston Astros. A 4-2 road trip, including a dominant sweep in Toronto have put the Twins a season-high 11 games over .500. I doubt everything will continue to
The Twins have ridden the roller coaster during the Paul Molitor era. Up in 2015, way down in 2016, a peek at the playoffs in 2017 and now way down in 2018. The roller coaster claimed a front-office victim in longtime GM Terry Ryan two years ago and now there has to be some heat on field manager Molitor after this season's extreme disappointment. The complaints about the old regime included being too "old school", including pitch-to-contact staffs, not using advanced metrics, cookie cutter app
Got a theory that the Twins trade Duran 1/1 for an OK starter they think they can optimize. He's the Luis Arraez of this offseason. A buzzy fan-favorite at peak value with an amazing skillset that the Twins FO doesn't value too much. They've always treated relievers as fungible. I think they seriously consider flipping him.
It was funny when I logged in today. I saw I had "reactions" from both you and Mike Sixel. I knew very well that Mike would dislike whatever it was I said because he does that.. I have had virtually no interaction with him and yet he keeps disliking my posts. He never bothers to explain where my logic is flawed, he just dislikes my posts. I think it is kind of childish. I have used dislike only a couple of times and when I have I try explain why I do not agree and I did it in a cordial way. I guess this thumbs up/thumbs down thing is the norm on "social media" but I do not have a Twitter, Facebook or any other kind of page. I do not even have LinkedIn, since I have been a teacher for nearly 30 years and am heading toward retirement soon.
I think the problem with Buxton here is that so many doubled down over and over again about how much of a superstar he was and they just can't admit they are wrong. I do not like hyping up young guys. We all wanted Buxton to be great but he is not. If I say that sentence stand alone by itself, I bet a number of people would dislike it. I am sorry, but I just do not understand how that is. I appreciate the likes, though lol